Sunday, 13 May 2012

Oh Crap! Big Brother Is Back

I must immediately admit that I am a sucker for reality TV. I am glued to most of the shows on the tele- Survivor, The Amazing Race, Deal or No Deal? Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? The Weakest Link, Hell’s Kitchen, American Idol, The Apprentice, Fear Factor and the list goes on. However, the one show that I have absolutely failed to wrap my mind around even nearly a decade later is Big Brother. What on earth is fascinating about Big Brother?

Big Brother is simply a show where a group of young men and women are kept in a large house and have no contact with the rest of the world for three months. However, their every move is closely watched by cameras all around the house. The Big Brother phenomenon began in the Netherlands in 1999, when the first show was televised. Since its inception, the show has been replicated all around the world from Brazil to Australia, the United Kingdom to India. Africa as well would not be left out of the fan fare with the first show on the continent in South Africa. There has also been Big Brother, Nigeria. However, by far the most popular on the continent has been Big Brother Africa. In the Africa version contestants from different countries across Africa are in the same confined space for 91 days.
              In Zambia, Big Brother still has a rather nostalgic feeling with our very own Cherise Makubale taking home the grand prize as Big Brother Africa winner and with it, a hefty pay cheque of $100, 000 in 2003. This win catapulted her to meteoric stardom. This was because at the time Zambia had not won anything of continental and international significance. Therefore, her win was at the time the closest we would have gotten to know what winning the Africa Cup of Nations felt like. Immediately, Cherise was being showered with gifts, plots, diplomatic passport, lunch with the President, free hotel accommodation and the list continued.
              Since Cherise’s win Zambia has been almost dismal in subsequent editions of the show. Maxwell, Takondwa, Kimberly, Mumba, Paloma, have all fallen short. It was only the other weekend that the 7th edition of Big Brother Africa was launched. Why? What is so interesting about watching men and women talk a whole lot of nothing?
               I could understand why people were so interested in Big Brother in the early days because of the infamous Shower Hour’. Since it was scrapped off, I am still trying to understand what it is that has people glued to Big Brother. I have tried my best to sit down in an attempt to understand what so many of its devoted fans see. However, that understanding has still eluded me. I have given it up all together. Perhaps I will never know or my brain simply refuses to comprehend it.
            The only time that I watch the show iwhen they enter the house and when someone ibeing evicted, that awell iif there inothing else appealing on the other channels. From mpoint of view what iinteresting about seeing people who pretend to act natural ifront othe camera. They have shallow conversations that do not make sense aall. They make foolish and pointless squabbles that are poor attempts at grabbing attention. The characters are uninteresting and one is left to wonder what the selection criterion was used. A cheap excuse at entertainment, in fact I can hardly call it that. It is even more puzzling when I hear disturbing comments that some diehard fans even watch Big Brother when the chaps are sleeping. Seriously, what entertainment is there in watching someone sleep?
 In all of Big Brother’s attempts to shake up the format from Revolution, to Allstars, Amplified to the current Stargame it has still remained a boring act of theatre. The inclusion of Rapunzel Mampi has not made any difference this year. The only time that I could remotely be engrossed in Big Brother is if interesting characters such as Julius Malema, Mario Balotelli, Rihanna, Mike Tyson, Angelina Jolie were invited into the house. Alternatively, even better throw in some hard-core ex-convicts into the mix to see how they would relate with the pretenders. Now that is one Big Brother, I would be glued to.
Until then Big Brother will continue to be one meaningless show on the airwaves for me. I will have to stick to more interesting shows such as Survivor and The Apprentice. All I can hope is that the 90 days pass by quickly so that we can all return to talabout more entertaining stuff.

Who would you like to see in the Big Brother house as a contestant?

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